One of the most interesting signings that Celtic have made in a long time is that of Reo Hatate, who has joined the club from Kawasaki Frontale, the back-to-back champions. It is not hard to see why the club decided to make a move for the Japanese star, who has been a standout for a while in the J1 League and as a result, he will be arriving at Parkhead with a lot of expectations surrounding him.
Hatate is still just 24 years of age and as a result, there is still a lot of room for improvement for him. And it remains to be seen how he adjusts to Scottish football.
Till now, Postecoglou has shown a brilliant eye for talent as well as the ability to get the best out of players. Jota and Anthony Ralston are two excellent examples of that. Thus, one cannot help but be excited by Hatate’s arrival.
There has been a lot of mystery surrounding his position though as he has been called an ‘utility man’ and played in multiple positions for Kawasaki Frontale. Postecoglou seems to have a clear idea about where he wants Hatate to play though. As reported by Football Scotland, the manager told Celtic TV:
"“In terms of position, he’s a midfielder, he’s an attacking midfielder and he’s one I think will develop over time.“He’s only had two years of senior football, he came through the university system, so he’s got a lot of upside and I’m really excited to start working with him.”"
Postecoglou finally clears up Celtic’s Hatate mystery
Many had believed that Postecoglou could play Hatate as a left-back, a position that he had frequently featured in for Kawasaki Frontale recently.
But it looks like that is not going to be the case and the manager views him as a midfielder, which is believed to be his best position although he has shown great versatility over the years.
Even then, it is great to have a player who can play in so many positions and well, having done so for Kawasaki Frontale, who have been the best team in the J1 League for quite some time.
Thus, while Maeda might grab the headlines, Hatate might possibly be the one with the most potential out of the three Japanese signings.